7

Fondazione Siena Jazz Summer Workshop 2013

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Of course, a modern-day jazz workshop would be remiss if its only focus was on the classic jazz repertoire. Director Franco Caroni reaffirms Martinelli: "Our studies are based mostly on playing music, so students have to play a lot and with different repertoires—not only the classic jazz repertoire, but also modern jazz. Also, the teachers are very different; we have Americans and we have Europeans. In the past year we've had John Taylor, Anders Jormin and Stefano Battaglia, for example. Stefano teaches a 32-hour course about improvisation techniques [during the winter program], and no conservatory has such a course.



"The aim is that students who graduate have a practical knowledge of the classic repertoire, but also of contemporary jazz," Caroni continues. "We do less classic repertoire than contemporary because music is changing. So, in the first year there's a lot of basic knowledge; in the second year, the contemporary repertoire rises. We take away some theory and replace it with more time for practice and combo classes. We should have a two-year Master's course; we did do an interim sort of thing, with 60 teachers, changing the faculty every two months. We had 42 students, but we were not recognized by the minister so it was more of a private thing."

While, over the years, the Fondazione has built a program that was finally recognized and accredited as a Bachelor's program in 2012, the Summer Workshop remains, in some ways, its flagship—the program that has really placed the Fondazione on the international map. "In the summer program, about twenty percent of the students are from outside of Italy, Germany, France and Denmark" says Martinelli. Some people come from very far away. Last year we had musicians from Australia and Argentina. Of course, some of them are not just coming for Siena; some of them are coming for a summer in Europe—going to festivals and other courses as well."

But in order to really work, there needs to be some degree of parity with the Fondazione's offerings and those of other institutions, both inside and outside of Italy. "It's getting there, because Franco is very active in this field," explains Martinelli. "Franco is very active in the coordination of European jazz schools and the global coordination of jazz schools in order to get as even a curriculum as possible. It's getting to be so that you could do one year in Denmark and then come and do a second year in Siena. Several times we've had an exchange of scholarships with Berklee [College of Music, in Boston], where we send two students there and they send two students to us."

It may have had grassroots beginnings—and is still run on a tight budget, with just five administrative staff in addition to the professors—but Fondazione Siena Jazz's impact on the Italian jazz scene, in particular, is immeasurable. "Most, if not all Italian jazz musicians under 40—maybe even under 50—have been to Siena," Martinelli says. "Enrico Rava's Electric Five group, with two electric guitars? They were all in the same workshop, the same year. Paolo Fresu's Quintet—Roberto Cipelli, Ettore Fioravanti , Tino Tracanna, Attilio Zanchi —was born in Siena."

What's more impressive is how the Fondazione's reputation has been built. "Word of mouth largely drives the workshop," Martinelli continues. "But it's very well-known, not just in Italy, but around the world. Where else can you learn one week with John Taylor and the next with Kenny Wheeler or Palle Danielsson? With people like that behind you, it can really raise your game. On top of the combos, they have instrumental teachers and instrumental lessons—one-to-one, though not necessarily with the same person. It's extremely intense, because they [the students] never go to bed [laughs]. I mean, you're here with 100 other young guys and girls from all over the world who share your passion for music. Who goes to bed? They get together and play until all hours of the morning.



"For many of them it's their first experience networking, actually meeting people from so many places, getting in touch and planning some ideas. 40 years ago, there was no Euro and you needed a passport to get to France; now you can move across borders using the same money, and you can network with people in the flesh. I mean, things like Facebook are all well and good; but to meet people and play together with them is a different story."

Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's Live Reviews Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's
by Mike Jacobs
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Vossajazz 2017 Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights Live Reviews Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read Tallinn Music Week 2017 Live Reviews Tallinn Music Week 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: April 16, 2017
Read Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2016
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Keith Oxman Quartet at Nocturne" Live Reviews Keith Oxman Quartet at Nocturne
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Hot Autumn Nights featuring Peter Noone's Herman's Hermits, the Grass Roots, the Box Tops and Gary Lewis & The Playboys at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury" Live Reviews Hot Autumn Nights featuring Peter Noone's...
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Brian Charette/Jim Alfredson Organ Duo at Nighttown" Live Reviews Brian Charette/Jim Alfredson Organ Duo at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: June 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!